1. Write Down Your Accomplishments
Think back to all of the accomplishments you’ve had. Get out a pen and paper and start writing them down.
It seems simple, but as your list grows, you’ll start to see that not only have you accomplished some impressive things, you are capable of even more.
You might begin to see patterns of times when you felt really good about yourself and accomplished a lot of great things. This exercise can help you tune in to the parts of yourself that know you’re adequate, capable and extraordinary!
2. Simplify Your Life
Just as our outward appearance is often a reflection of our internal world, our homes are usually a reflection as well.
And just as we hold on to negative emotions, beliefs and thoughts that don’t serve us, we often hold on to material possessions that don’t serve us either — they actually weigh us down.
Take a weekend to go through your things and see if you can find some items that might be weighing you down.
Do you have clothes you haven’t worn in years? Do you have items that once held sentimental value, but now don’t hold the same meaning? Do you have things you bought that you thought you’d use, but never have?
Have a yard sale and get rid of those things or donate those items to a local charity.You’ll free up some space in your life and in the process, you might just make some money and do something kind for someone else.
3. Say stop to your inner critic
A good place to start with raising your self-esteem is by learning how to handle and to replace the voice of your own inner critic.
We all have an inner critic.
It can spur you on to get things done or to do things to gain acceptance from the people in your life. But at the same time it will drag your self-esteem down.
This inner voice whispers or shouts destructive thoughts in your mind. Thoughts like for example:
- You are lazy and sloppy, now get to work.
- You aren’t good at your job at all and someone will figure that out and throw you out.
- You are worse or uglier than your friend/co-worker/partner.
You don’t have to accept this though. There are ways to minimize that critical voice and to replace it with more helpful thoughts. You can change how you view yourself.
4. Invest In Your Well-Being
Take a look at your spending patterns and see if you can make some changes.
Are you spending money on self-destructive coping mechanisms? Whether it’s unhealthy comfort food, excessive drinking, video games or apps, or overindulgence of any kind, these spending habits can be transformed.
By taking the money you spend on indulgences and spending that money on self-improvement, you can empower your mind and body to raise your self-esteem.
Whether it’s a meditation retreat, yoga classes, self-improvement courses or simply healthier food, spending money on things that are good for you can make you feel better about yourself.
5. Handle mistakes and failures in a more positive way.
If you go outside of your comfort zone, if you try to accomplish anything that is truly meaningful then you will stumble and fall along the way.
And that is OK. It is normal. It is what people that did something that truly mattered have done throughout all ages. Even if we don’t always hear about it as much as we hear about their successes. Focus on optimism and opportunities, ask yourself: what is one thing I can learn from this? And what is one opportunity I can find in this situation? This will help you to change your viewpoint and hopefully not hit the same bump a little further down the road.
6. Do one thing that scares you every day.
“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” — T. Harv Eker
The best way to overcome fear is to face it head-on. By doing something that scares you every day and gaining confidence from every experience, you will see your self-confidence soar. So get out of your comfort zone and face your fears! That is something to appreciate about yourself and it can help you come alive as you get out of a rut.
7. Set yourself up to win.
Too many people are discouraged about their abilities because they set themselves goals that are too difficult to achieve. Start by setting yourself small goals that you can win easily.
Once you have built a stream of successes that make you feel good about yourself, you can then move on to harder goals. Make sure that you also keep a list of all your achievements, both large and small, to remind yourself of the times that you have done well.
Instead of focusing only on “to-do” lists, I like to spend time reflecting on “did-it” lists. Reflecting on the major milestones, projects and goals you’ve achieved is a great way to reinforce confidence in your skills.
Mindfulness is a simple yet powerful form of meditation that merely requires that you pay close attention to your thoughts as they arise, pass through your conscious awareness, and dissipate. The objective of mindfulness is to allow you to dispassionately recognize and assess your thoughts as they emerge. Mindfulness makes it possible for you to see your thoughts for what they truly are — i.e., temporary “intellectual currents” that spontaneously arise and fall away — rather than falling into the trip of believing them to be something that they are not — i.e., accurate representations of your inner self, your essential identity. We are not our thoughts: we are that which notices our thoughts. We, therefore, decide what, if anything, we will do in response to our thoughts.
Using mindfulness to enhance your self-esteem involves paying habitual attention to your predominant thought patterns as they appear throughout the day. It’s especially important to be “on guard” for self-sabotaging thought patterns, i.e., negative self-talk. Are you constantly telling yourself that you can’t do x, that you’re not good enough to do y, or that don’t deserve z? If so then you must learn to develop a constructive, supportive, and forgiving inner dialogue that will allow you to re-frame such thoughts.
9. Set goals and work toward them.
If you want to feel good about yourself, do things that are good for you. Maybe you want to eat a healthier diet, get more fit, or study better. Make a goal. Then make a plan for how to do it. Stick with your plan. Track your progress. Be proud of what you’ve done so far. Say to yourself, “I’ve been following my plan to work out every day for 45 minutes. I feel good about it. I know I can keep it up.”
10. Say stop to your inner critic.
A good place to start with raising your self-esteem is by learning how to handle and to replace the voice of your own inner critic. Instead accepting negative thoughts, start saying helpful things to yourself. Tune in to the voice in your head. Are you too hard on yourself? For a few days, write down some of the things you say to yourself. Look over your list. Are these things you’d say to a good friend? If not, rewrite them in a way that’s true, fair, and kind. Read your new phrases often. Do it until it’s more of a habit to think that way. In the long run it also helps a lot to find better ways to motivate yourself than listening to your inner critic. So just take control over your thoughts!